Socceroos, Australia, which players will move in January, Harry Souttar, Mat Ryan, Graham Arnold, Kye Rowles, transfer news, January window, latest, updates

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With millions, if not billions, of eyeballs trained on the World Cup, there’s no bigger or better stage for players to turn themselves into household names.

James Rodriguez set the World Cup alight in 2014 with several scintillating performances that culminated in the Colombian making a $AUD114 million switch from AS Monaco to Real Madrid.

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There’s also been a handful of Socceroos who have earned moves on the back of strong showings, with then-teenager Daniel Arzani generating plenty of buzz in 2018 while left back Jason Davidson moved to Premier League outfit West Bromwich Albion in 2014.

The Aussie pair moved on after Socceroos World Cup campaigns which yielded a combined total of 0 points, making it all the more impressive they managed to catch the eyes of scouts.

However, the Socceroos enjoyed the most successful World Cup tournament in Australian football history with two victories in the group stage and a heartbreaking loss to Argentina in the Round of 16.

The remarkable run came on the back of several standout performances across the board, with two defenders emerging as clear talents.

The January transfer window is only a few weeks away and with a number of Aussie player adding a few noughts to the end of their transfer fee, takes a look at which Socceroos could be on the move!

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Of all the Socceroos likely to move on to pastures new in January, Harry Souttar looms as the likeliest candidate of them all.

Not only was the 1.98m beast flying into crunching tackles and dominating the air, but the Stoke City defender’s passing ability was on show for all to see as he pinged diagonal balls across the park with ease.

It’s no wonder why Arnold claimed if he “was a Premier League club, I’d be banging on the door real quick” because Souttar is “that good”.

Former Irish international Shay Given also had plenty of praise for the 24-year-old.

“He’s very good on the ball,” Given told Irish broadcaster RTE.

“He’s a very talented player. He’s a real leader and a bit of a throwback defender. He puts his body on the line.

“For some people defenders have to be brilliant on the ball and play it from the back, but he does the old school defending, which is quite refreshing to see sometimes.”

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Souttar was in line for a Premier League switch last year before tearing his ACL in November while on Socceroos duty, with Stoke reportedly slapping an $AUD36 million price tag on him.

That transfer fee has no doubt gone up by several figures on the back of his showings in Qatar but it’s unlikely to deter any suitors from the English top flight.

Everton had previous reported interest in Souttar and could go back in for him again.

Toffees centre-back Yerry Mina’s deal expires next summer and the club could look to cash in on him in January.

The Colombian stands at 1.95m, so who better to replace him with than the ‘Bogan Beckenbauer’ himself?

Souttar also wouldn’t look out of place for Leicester City.

The Foxes are looking to offload Caglar Soyuncu who has had a serious downturn in form while skipper Jonny Evans isn’t getting younger at 34 years of age.

Should Leicester recoup a good fee for Soyuncu and potentially Jannik Vestergaard in January, it gives them extra cash and a move for Souttar wouldn’t be out of the question.

No matter what, expect the rumour mill to spark into overdrive for Souttar.

Souttar was a revelation. (Photo by Alfredo ESTRELLA / AFP)Source: AFP


Although Souttar may have taken most of the headlines for the Socceroos defensive corps, the brilliance of his centre-back partner Kye Rowles cannot be ignored.

Aside from one hairy moment when he slipped against Tunisia, it was a near-flawless tournament from the Hearts defender who, like Souttar, only recently returned from injury before the World Cup.

The 24-year-old also has the added advantage of being a left-footed centre-back, a quality seen as somewhat of a rare commodity in football these days.

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has vowed to fight “tooth and nail” to keep the former Central Coast Mariners product, who only moved to Tyneside in June this year.

But Neilson will know all too well that should a reasonable fee land on his desk for Rowles, he’d be silly not to take it and reinvest.

Rowles provided a sense of calm at the back. (Photo by Ryan Pierse – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

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There’s something somewhat graceful to his game in the way Rowles conducts his business rather than sending opponents flying into mid-air with crunching tackles.

Should Rowles move from Edinburgh in January, it could be to a team or league that values the technical side of the game.

With that in mind, the Eredivisie screams out as an obvious destination.

He wouldn’t be the first Aussie to play in the Dutch top flight, with Craig Goodwin, Kenny Dougall and Trent Sainsbury enjoying successful stints in recent years.

Rowles could every easily add his name to the growing list of Socceroos strutting their stuff in the Eredivisie.

Will Hearts be able to hold on to Rowles? (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images


Mat Ryan’s name will forever be attached with Socceroos history, having kept not just one but two clean sheets for the Aussies at a World Cup.

An unfortunate mistake took some of the shine off of his performances in Qatar, but for a goalkeeper that hadn’t played as many minutes as he would have liked for club side FC Copenhagen, he couldn’t have done much better.

His Copenhagen teammate Kamil Grabara posted an incredibly childish tweet in the wake of Ryan’s mistake against Argentina which has furthered the already-simmering tension between the two.

Come the end of January, it’s almost certain both will no longer be in the Danish capital and Ryan’s agent Mikkel Beck said in November that “it looks likely Maty will move on in January”, per beIN Sports.

With the World Cup now out of the way, Ryan’s need for game time isn’t as pressing as it would have been before it.

But at 30 years of age and having played just over 20 games at club level in the past two-and-a-half years, Ryan will want some consistency.

His Brighton and Central Coast Mariners stints aside, Ryan has enjoyed the most amount of minutes in the Jupiler Pro League in Belgium with Club Brugge and Genk.

A return to familiar surroundings in the Belgian top flight could beckon, but it won’t be at a previous club as Genk are ahead by 11 points at the top while Club Brugge sit in fourth.

However, a goalkeeper who’s played in three World Cups and has proven himself as a reliable operator won’t be short of other suitors either in Belgium or elsewhere.

Ryan is all set to move on from FC Copenhagen (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images


Jobs don’t get much tougher than trying to keep Lionel Messi quiet in a World Cup knockout game.

But Keanu Baccus had to do just that on what was his first start for the Socceroos.

The St Mirren midfielder showed no fear and left his mark early on Messi with a brutal challenge that left the Argentinian great in a heap on the floor.

Messi did get the better of Baccus on occasions, but he more than held his own with all things considered.

His impressive performances in the Scottish Premiership were no doubt catching some eyeballs of scouts but, like several others in this list, there’s sure to be many more and it won’t be long before Baccus outgrows the league.

It’s why Socceroos assistant Rene Meulensteen could see Baccus “go to France, Spain or the Championship”, per FTBL.

Well, a manager who certainly knows his quality well is former Melbourne City boss Patrick Kisnorbo, who has just moved to Ligue 1 side Troyes.

Kisnorbo’s side sits in 13th place in the French top flight but are only one point clear of the relegation zone.

In their central midfield stocks, Rominigue Kouame and Florian Tardiue tend to get the most minutes with Tristan Dingome often used off the bench.

However, the latter two are both 30 or older and Kisnorbo could do worse than Baccus to offer some freshness to his midfield.

Wherever it may be, Baccus looks likely to be on the move.

Keanu Baccus made his first Socceroos start in a World Cup knockout match. (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP)Source: AFP


Very few could have predicted a 31-year-old from the J2 League to be one of the main stars for the Socceroos, but Mitchell Duke isn’t like most strikers.

Duke was the key figure up front for Arnold’s side, harassing opposition defenders at will with his relentless pressing and aerial ability.

His running stats for each game were mind-boggling, all the more because he did it in every game despite niggling injuries.

But Duke will forever be remembered as the man who helped break the Socceroos’ 12-year drought for a win at the World Cup thanks to his stunning header against Tunisia that left Harry Kewell in disbelief.

Duke’s all-round game defied the level of competition he plays in and one would imagine teams will be looking at him as an all-time bargain.

His aerial skills, pace and ability to hold up the ball makes him a salivating prospect for a Championship or perhaps a League One team in England.

One team in League One that craves a striker who can do a bit of everything is Wycombe Wanderers.

The Chairboys have a manager in Gareth Ainsworth that has similar traits to Arnold in terms of being a charismatic, galvanising figure that gets the most out of his players.

They have former Wales international Sam Vokes in their ranks but he’s out of contract in the summer and hasn’t been scoring as much as he’d have liked.

Whether Duke ends up playing for a club named ‘Wanderers’ for the second time in his career remains to be seen, but it’s unlikely he’ll be with Fagiano Okayama for much longer.

Duke’s performances were vital to the Socceroos’ success. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images


To most Aussies, they wouldn’t have known Craig Goodwin from a bar of soap before the World Cup.

But it took just nine minutes of action before Australia knew exactly who the 30-year-old is when he scored for the Socceroos against France.

Goodwin also scored the Aussies’ solo goal against Argentina — albeit with a wicked deflection off the side of an Argentinian defender’s face — that gave the nation hope.

He also would have had an assist had Garang Kuol squeezed his last-gasp effort past Emi Martinez, but it was not to be.

His tireless work on the left wing both offensively and defensively was something to behold and his wand of a left peg continued to whip in crosses that had opposition back lines panicking.

Funnily enough, we might not even be sat here reminiscing about Goodwin’s performances if it weren’t for Martin Boyle’s injury, as the Hibs flyer would have likely started on the right wing and Mat Leckie on the left.

Goodwin scored a goal and got two assists in Qatar. (Photo by Alfredo ESTRELLA / AFP)Source: AFP

But Goodwin seized his opportunity with both hands before he eventually ran out of legs as he started the Argentina clash on the bench.

He emerged as one of Australia’s breakout starts of the tournament and had several Aussies wondering if he could be on the move.

The 30-year-old, who turns another year older next week, insists his “future is with Adelaide” having signed a deal with the A-League Men’s club until 2025.

Yet he could have one final move overseas left in him, depending on the opportunity and transfer fee presented to the Reds.

Goodwin has already ticked off the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia in his footballing journey and would be extremely unlikely to go far away from Australia again, if at all.

But a move to somewhere like Japan and Korea might not be entirely out of the question, provided it is the right opportunity.

Goodwin scored the Socceroos’ first goal from open play at a World Cup since 2014. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)Source: AFP


Graham Arnold had many doubters going into the World Cup.

But after the Socceroos’ journey in Qatar, a very significant portion of those had been swung over in favour of Arnie.

What’s interesting to note is that Arnold’s contract with Football Australia expired the moment the Socceroos exited the World Cup.

At this moment, Arnold is enjoying a well-deserved breather having made history with the Socceroos in Qatar.

But once he returns, Arnold will have crunch conversations with FA boss James Johnson about his future as national team manager.

Socceroos great Robbie Slater believes his good mate wants to stick around and Johnson also would like to retain Arnold’s services.

However, Arnold hasn’t managed at club level since leaving Sydney FC in 2018.

Could the temptation to return to the daily grind of coaching prove too much to turn down?

Arnold has spoken of his admiration of the MLS in the past and interviewed for the Sheffield United gig after winning the A-League with the Mariners in 2013, but turned down the offer and branded the Blades “prehistoric”.

Should Arnold want to go to America, there is already one opening immediately available at CF Montreal after Wilfried Nancy moved to take up the vacancy at Columbus Crew.

The Daily Telegraph also reported Arnold is in the crosshairs for a nation in east Asia and one in the Middle East, should he wish to continue international management elsewhere.

Whatever Arnold wishes to do, he will not be short of offers.

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